Most Thoughtful Questions
Congratulations to the 6 questions listed below which the IoTeX has handpicked to be the most thoughtful ones we received from our General AMA session on 8/31/18. Join us again on 9/14/18 for another AMA!
Q: Is there any opportunity at this moment to develop something using the Testnet? Not necessarily an API available, but some examples in golang about how to broadcast transactions with data in the Testnet, or a command-line client that we can execute from our application?
A: At the moment, we are not at the stage where DApps can be built on our platform. However, we are working with our strategic partners to prototype specific components, starting with connecting lightweight IoT devices (e.g., wearables, smart locks) to our blockchain. Once we have these prerequisites figured out, we will likely build out SDKs so that developers can leverage the work we have done to stand up their own products. In the future, we will also release more ways for technical and non-technical users to interact with our Testnet.
Q: lately you are formalizing many partnerships, what are you hoping to get from these agreements? what do you think about working with Apple or Huawei to implement your technology on their IoT devices? Despite recent announcements and your punctuality in respecting the roadmap, the price of IOTX no signs of going up: are you worried or are you calm? Have you studied any way to get investor confidence to drive up the price of IOTX? Last question: are you satisfied with how the testnet was released?
A: To address your questions one at a time:
- From our partnerships, we hope to make tangible progress in small increments. For example, we are starting with proofs of concept with our development partners to integrate our blockchain with their DApps and IoT devices. Lineable will link their wearables to our blockchain. We will co-develop a smart lock with GSE. We will begin storing data from smart buildings with SmartHab. And finally, we will create trusted data marketplaces with Weeve. More to come with new partners soon
- From our perspective, partnering with these massive corporations is not the correct way to approach partnerships, at least for a project at our Testnet stage. All of these companies, such as Apple and Huawei, have their own in-house blockchain teams, and cannot allocate as much time/resources to our partnership as some of the small-to-medium businesses that we are currently partnering with. One step at a time — there will be a time when we will be ready to partner with these mega-corporations.
- Regarding the IOTX price, we are not worried — we see this as a consequence of the current bear market, but it should be noted that we are still trading at ~2x of our private sale price, which is reassuring as some other projects have dipped below this critical support level. As we continue to deliver progress, we are sure this will be correlated with price increases, but it is not our main focus to drive price at this very moment. Once the Mainnet launches in Q1 2019 and there is a real utility for our token (gas for the IoTeX blockchain), we anticipate more price action, as seen in other Mainnet projects.
- We are very satisfied with our Testnet release — as usual, it was delivered on time, and we are very excited that it provides a way for people to interact with the Testnet. Even though we focus on the wallet and smart contract functionality in our blog post/video, there is so much more going on behind the scenes, such as BLS signatures, dual-key generation, implementation of crypto libs, etc. These are not “sexy” features, but on the technology side, they are very important!
Q: Amazing livestream!! Want to know more about the game so bad, but you guys will probably say not allowed to release anything now yet (interested in the scale, release etc). So instead, I will ask, how do you guys plan on to protect users’ personal data from government use? particularly for surveillance purposes? As you guys mentioned about the approach with governments etc, this becomes an important issue. thank you
A: We would love to disclose more about our campaigns, but you will have to wait for the full details
Regarding keeping data safe from surveillance, it is a fundamental property of public blockchains to prevent censorship, which we value greatly in the IoT world and beyond. Something that is unique to our project is the use of privacy to encrypt the transaction sender, receiver, and value. This requires deep cryptography expertise, which is why many projects are unable to add privacy to their blockchains. In a non-privacy enabled blockchain, governments can surveil the blockchain (as it is a distributed ledger), and if they are able to link a public key with a real-world identity, then all of the activities of that public key will be known. This is why masking the sender/receiver/value is so important to prevent surveillance and maintain full privacy.
Q: As IoTeX has delivered IoTeX testnet beta I think it’s good time to ask few questions regarding one of the main features of the release — Support of VMs and smart contracts
- Being supportive of Ethereum virtual machine is extremely important in my opinion to deploy dApps on IoTeX blockchain from Ethereum. I imagine that there should be already early bird IoT dApps that have been in continuous development on Ethereum, however, as IoTeX is tailoring an in-house blockchain for IoT these dApps that can’t be run without scalability and privacy on ether can hugely benefit if being deployed on IoTeX. Could you please further elaborate on why EVM support is so important?
- You mentioned the potential support of WASM. This is definitely an amazing game changer if being supported as it’s emerging standard backed even by Microsoft, Google and Apple. Could you explain in more details why WebAssembly’s support is big step forward for IoTeX?
- What other Virtual machines are you thinking to work on to support and why them in particular?
- As you mentioned, supporting the EVM and Solidity-based smart contracts is an important first step. It is the most familiar smart contract language and there is the most critical mass of developers familiar with Solidity. Once we have this figured out, we will seek to build our own virtual machine and support other languages.
- WASM is less restrictive than Solidity / EVM and can open the door for more versatile smart contracts and DApps.
- As we mentioned, our ultimate goal is to create our own Virtual Machine, which will be tailor-fit for IoT.
Q: What was the most interesting thing about developing a new version of TestNet? And what was the most difficult thing to develop?
A: Every Testnet release is unique, and this release was definitely the most challenging to date. The wallet / smart contract user interface is fairly simple to understand, but behind the scenes there are so many complex operations to make it all work, linking the front end UI to the wallet to the smart contracts to the back end infrastructure. The smart contract functionality was definitely the most difficult to develop, but it taught us a lot and we are looking forward to improving even more!
Q: Thanks for the live stream earlier. The engagement from the team is amazing. My question is, what’s the best way for someone to get involved in the project if they are new to coding and Blockchain development? What input would be the greatest benefit to the IoTeX team?
A: From our perspective, there are many ways to get involved with the IoTeX project, even for those without the technical capabilities to contribute to our open-source Github:
- Community support/outreach — we hope that our community can help us in the coming months by spreading the word about IoTeX in public forums (e.g., Reddit, Bitcoin Talk) and social media (e.g., Twitter). By doing so, this really magnifies the attention to our project!
- Support of our development partners — the DApps that will be built on top of IoTeX are all part of our community as well. Once their products launch, supporting the projects by becoming users of the DApps will help our project greatly — we will let you know how to participate!
- Learning new skills — even though you may not have the skills today to contribute, we encourage you to do your own research and build your skills. The industry is brand new, and it may seem like you are behind, but there is lots of time to learn and one day contribute
Q: Watching Iotex testnet Epik’s demo voting for delegates looks so simple but yet is so important for the future of IoTeX in regards to the Roll-Dpos as well as blockchain as a whole. In Demo the vote for the delegate was cast picking the pre-written address. How will it work when stable main net goes live? Will there be a list of the self-voted candidates as well as the live voting results and any information on the delegates?
A: You are right that the voting process of our Testnet is overly simplified — in the Mainnet, there will be a more comprehensive voting process. The process is as follows: after a user self-nominates themselves to become a delegate, they will create a “campaign page” where other users can view their hardware/software capabilities, as well as their history in the IoTeX network. There will be a “scoreboard” that shows the number of votes for each candidate for added transparency. This will give important context to voters regarding who they are voting for — we will also allow proxy voting to add more flexibility in the voting process. The voting process is laid out in detail in our Roll-DPoS yellow paper (section 3): https://iotex.io/yellow-paper
Q: Nowadays we have seen many hacks in crypto space. How secure is IoTeX wallet and what measures have been taken to control all kinds of attack on IoTeX tokens/wallets?
A: There are so many aspects of blockchain security to consider — to put it simply, 50% of time should be spent on development and 50% should be spent on testing. We use this principle at IoTeX, and we take security very seriously. In addition to our in-house security experts, we also have partnered with LianAn Technology and CertiK, who are formal verification companies that add a second (but highly technical) perspective regarding the security of our entire network. Rest assured, this is of the utmost importance for IoTeX.
Q: Awesome livestream earlier guys! I would love to see more of these. As you stressed in the Testnet Beta blog post-release, usability is something the IoTeX team highly prioritizes hence the wallet and smart contract features released in Epik. Will we see an extension or further evolution of this usability priority in Stable? How so?
A: Thanks for joining our livestream earlier! Yes — we will definitely improve on the smart contract and wallet functionality. This is just version 1.0, and we will add additional capabilities, such as support of other smart contract languages and virtual machines. In addition to new features, we will aim to improve the usability by taking feedback from our community, as well as the general progression of smart contracts in the industry.
Q: How many transactions can fit on average in a block? And why did you chose 3 seconds as the block-time?
A: In the Testnet, the number of transactions that can fit in a block varies depending on the type of transactions that are stored in the block (token transfers, votes, and smart contracts). You can see the details in our IoTeX Explorer — here is an example:
We chose ~3-second confirmation as it is important to have instant finality